The Dark Knight Was This Close to Casting Leonardo DiCaprio as Joker

Heath Ledger won an Oscar for playing Joker in The Dark Knight, but it very easily could have been Leonardo DiCaprio in the role.

Heath Ledger won an Oscar for playing Joker in The Dark Knight, but it very easily could have been Leonardo DiCaprio in the role.

That’s what the writer of 2008’s Batman blockbuster Jonathan Nolan revealed during an interview on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, embedded below.

“We had these conversations,” Nolan says, before admitting “really, it’s backseat driving. Chris [Nolan] understood that what we had done, what Heath had done with that character, you didn’t want to go anywhere near it.”

dark knight

Ledger died a few months after finishing filming on The Dark Knight in what remains the most celebrated performance of his career.

For the sequel, Nolan says he was initially looking to introduce another of Batman’s main villains in The Riddler, but ultimately landed on Tom Hardy’s Bane.

“I sort of started to play with ideas about The Riddler and what can be done with that character,” Nolan continues. “But it did feel like it was close enough to the space of what we had done with Heath.”

As for who might be donning the black cape and cowl next, Reacher star Alan Ritchson really wants to be the next Batman.

Jonathan Nolan on casting Leonardo DiCaprio as Joker

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